by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
The White House considers the latest enrollment period to purchase non group health care plans a success — 11.4 million people and counting. Success shouldn’t be determined by the tally of enrollees, however. It should be based on factors such as how many of those enrollees were previously uninsured, how many consistently pay their premiums, and whether people can access affordable medical care.
Let’s take a look at the lowest cost plan that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina offers in Wake County for a 27-year old earning an income of $35,000. The Obama Administration advertises that individuals earning up to 400% ($46,000) of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) may qualify for financial assistance. Note that this plan does not come with a subsidy. In a majority of states, subsidies greatly diminish beyond 250% of the FPL.
Having insurance is important, but the fact that individuals are being coerced into purchasing plans that are either too expensive or may not always serve their interests is just one reason why the federal health law’s approval rating is at an all-time low.